San Michele di Pagana & Santa Margherita Ligure

San Michele di Pagana
San Michele di Pagana

Yesterday, after a less than wonderful pizza lunch with my sister, I set out on my own to walk again to Santa Margherita Ligure, with a brief stop along the way at San Michele di Pagana. My sister, after walking around Rapallo a bit, went back to our beautiful apartment to relax with the sea view.

Upon rereading that previous paragraph, I think I should clarify it a bit. My sister was as wonderful as usual. It was the pizza that was less than wonderful. How did we find one of the few restaurants in Italy with less than wonderful pizza? The choice of restaurant was a mutual decision by my sister and me, so I blame no one but the restaurant.

San Michele di Pagana

San Michele di Pagana seaside buildings
San Michele di Pagana seaside buildings

The next town over from Rapallo on the way to Santa Margherita Ligure is San Michele di Pagana. In fact, it’s the only town between Rapallo and Santa Margherita and Rapallo.

To be honest, I’m not even sure it’s a town. There is a sign on the road marking its boundary. And the map shows it as an independent, named district. But the regulation and other information signs in the alleged town were all headed with either “Commune di Rapallo” or “Citta di Rapallo.” And, on the way back from Santa Margherita Ligure, the sign telling me I was reentering Rapallo was well before I got to San Michele di Pagana.

Whether it’s its own town or just a neighbourhood of Rapallo, San Michele di Pagana is quaint along its coast. Colourful buildings of orange-brown, beige, and blueish gray hug the seaside. On the ground floor, the buildings contain a few cafes and restaurants.

Go away from the seaside and it’s less charming. The railway line, which is elevated through the town/neighbourhood, is not terribly far from the coast. On the other side of the tracks, the buildings I saw were mostly uninteresting residential structures, with almost no retail.

The town/neighbourhood extends up the hill away from the sea. Because it didn’t appear terribly enticing, I didn’t walk very far up the hill. Maybe there are other interesting sections. I don’t know.

Santa Margherita Ligure

Saint Elmo's church
Saint Elmo’s church

In Santa Margherita Ligure for the second time, I visited a small, little church, the Oratory of Sant’Erasmo. That’s a small, little church as opposed to a big, little church or a huge, little church.

In English, Sant’Erasmo is Saint Elmo. I don’t think Saint Elmo has anything to do with the Sesame Street character named Elmo. I’m pretty sure that that Elmo has neither died nor been canonized. But I might be wrong.

This Saint Elmo supposedly takes are of seafarers. The church, which is not far from the waterfront, is decorated in a nautical theme. Well, nautical and Christian. The Christian theme dominated heavily when I was there. There was an abundance of Jesuses on crosses and a Christian display. But I think much of that was just for Easter, which was last weekend. Two men were in the church packing some of it away. The crystal chandeliers that seem to be almost mandatory in churches didn’t contribute much to either the nautical or Christian motifs.

Another Church

Inside Saint Elmo's church
Inside Saint Elmo’s church

After leaving the Oratory of Sant’Erasmo I walked along and found an almost-hidden set of public stairs. I walked up them with no objective in mind.

The path led me to another church. This one was a small, medium-sized church or maybe a medium, medium-size church. To be honest, I’ve never known the official international standard for church-size units.

The second church was the Church of San Giacomo di Corte, also know as the Church of Nostra Signora della Lettera. It’s another fairly beautiful church with crystal chandeliers.

Church of San Giacomo di Corte
Church of San Giacomo di Corte

A lovely small park sits almost right beside the church. The park’s grid of narrow paths run through a bunch of what looked like, not palm trees, but palm bushes. Their firm, pointed leaves were a perfect height to poke an eye out. Although, they merely scratched mine.

The park also afforded beautiful views of the sea from on high.

Inside the Church of San Giacomo di Corte
Inside the Church of San Giacomo di Corte

I thought it was an independent park. And maybe it was, but if so, it was immediately beside another park. This much larger one had a cute, circular turtle pond. Yes, if you’ve been following along, it was the same turtle pond that my sister and I visited when we were in Santa Margherita Ligure a few days ago. During that visit, we walked only as far as the turtle pond, but coming from the other direction, so we didn’t see the park I was in today.

View from the park
View from the park

In truth, until I saw the turtle pond, I could have sworn that I was nowhere near it. I walked down the switchback path that, the other day, hosted an eclectic market. I then made my way back to Rapallo to end my day’s touring.

Today, it’s on to Milan.

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